Anyway, like I was sayin’, shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that’s about it. – Bubba Gump
The best way to describe my brother David’s generous spirit and his loyalty to his family is to tell you that he took my dad and stepmother on his honeymoon to Hawaii because he wanted to treat them to something special. And the best way to describe my sister-in-law Sami’s big-heartedness is to tell you that she agreed without giving it a second thought.
Though there are plenty of funny stories they tell that are not unexpected when you share your honeymoon trip with your father — or anyone, really — their memories of their first trip to Hawaii are special.
How can that not be so? It’s Hawaii.
Still, just prior to my brother and his wife’s recent visit to Denver, I was quite surprised to learn that one of David’s few must-does while visiting was eating dinner at Bubba Gump’s Restaurant in downtown Denver.
I was surprised because David is more the “let’s stay home and enjoy the backyard and grill some brats” kind of guy, not a “let’s put on big-boy and –girl pants and go downtown to eat a rather pricey meal” sort of fellow. But it seems he and Sami have wonderful memories of sitting at the Bubba Gump’s on the island of Maui, watching the ocean, and eating shrimp. With his dad and stepmom.
It was little enough to ask, so the Saturday night of their visit, we all climbed aboard light rail and made our way to Bubba Gump’s Restaurant.
I had driven past this restaurant countless times as one of the light rail lines literally goes past Bubba Gump’s. However, it is one of the innumerable restaurants that I have seen but not tried. Since it is a chain restaurant, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I don’t think I’m particularly a restaurant snob, but sometimes chain restaurants can be a bit mundane.
Bubba Gump’s wasn’t, and we had a wonderful time. When we first arrived, the somewhat surly hostess tried to place us in a dark booth downstairs where there were very few people. Much to my delight, however, David and Sami spotted an empty table upstairs near the bar where there was light, lots of cheerful patrons, with the table right next to an open window. The only thing missing was the ocean.
While I’m not trying to write a restaurant review, I will tell you that I had more fun that night than I’ve had in a long time. The food was delicious, and we had a pleasant server who more than made up for our ungracious greeting downstairs.
I love when people surprise me, and that night my brother surprised me. Our waiter began asking us trivia questions about the movie Forrest Gump. I must tell you that I saw Forrest Gump one time when it was first released, and never felt compelled to see it again. While I didn’t hate the movie, I found it, well, overly long. Stop running Forrest, stop running. So the only question I was able to answer was to complete the phrase life is like a box of chocolates… Seriously, one would have to have lived on Mars not to be able to do that. But my brother knew ALL THE ANSWERS. ALL OF THEM.
“How do you know all of this?” I asked him. The answer: he has watched the movie something like 372 times. Well then.
We ate coconut shrimp and shrimp cocktail and grilled shrimp and shrimp by the bucket. Not surprising that Bubba Gump’s has a plethora of shrimp from which to choose. And choose we did. And it was all delicious.
It was a fun night, and undoubtedly we will visit the restaurant again. It would be stupid not to when it was so good.
And stupid is as stupid does.